It's a tragic fact that newspapers have been dwindling in every way. In the last year or so, our local paper has become narrower to the extent I hear people grousing over it. But actually, it's a process that has been going on for decades. The actual newspapers from the 1930s and 1940s that I have seen have been huge... no wonder old movies showed hoboes sleeping under a covers of newspapers. The comics back then had plenty of room to breathe and develop suspense or laughs. A Sunday PRINCE VALIANT or MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAn could be a gorgeous work of art.
There was room then for a top strip, usually done by the same artist and either starring a secondary character (such as Cicero's Cat) or an unrelated situation. Here's a good example.
Still another observation: the column of faces running down the left were all popular in their era, the equivalent of Garfield or Dilbert today. Ah, fame is fleeting (as what's his name used to say).